|Leah at Huntington Beach in June|
|Leah with a Danish Santa in Copenhagen|
My last child has reached the double-digits. This feels like a milestone to me and represents a new phase in my life and hers.
She was born at a crossroads in our family's life. We were getting ready to move to Copenhagen, Denmark for a semester when she arrived. She was born on July 30, 2001, and we boarded the plane on September 3. She was still a newborn with blotchy skin who needed to be nursed every two hours.
I remember being crammed on the plane in the very back with my back aching and my legs cramping for 10 hours. I was excited to go to a country where my ancestors had come from and where my grandfather had served as a mission president during WW II.
But I was terrified of how we'd get along with four kids in a foreign country, one who was a newborn.
Leah was a beautiful baby and turned out to be much easier than a three year old or a seven year old or even a 10 year old because she could be transported easily in a pram and obviously didn't need to walk for long distances. She didn't require home schooling or entertaining.
We were a spectacle--a family of four kids--hopping on buses and trains and taxis. When 9-11 happened and we went to the American Embassy in Copenhagen to pay our respects, I wondered what kind of world Leah would grow up in. Would there be more terrorist attacks and would her life be altered because of it? Though there was nothing I could do to prevent it, I didn't like the idea that all her life she would know she'd was born six weeks before 9-11.
She was a bright spot in a world that seemed condemned to darkness. Those thoughts came to me repeatedly as I ate Danish chocolate at 3 am while trying to get her back to sleep.
Now she is an inquisitive 10-year old who loves people and worries about her family and friends. She loves to do art projects and paint and swim and play with friends. She is a joy to me and a good student and a beautiful girl.
Happy 10th birthday Leah! I love you!